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WWE Raw live results: John Cena returns

Cena returns to Raw in celebration of the 20th anniversary of his WWE debut.
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Date: June 27, 2022
Location: Sames Auto Arena in Laredo, TX 

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Show Recap --

Raw kicked off with a clip from earlier today of John Cena entering the building to a standing ovation from various wrestlers, referees, officials and crew. Becky Lynch and Omos were there but only sarcastically applauded. (This all felt pretty over the top.)

Riddle won a Money in the Bank qualifying battle royal (19:26) 

They called this a last-chance qualifying match. A bunch of wrestlers were in the ring already as the show started. Dominik and Rey Mysterio, Shinsuke Nakamura and Riddle got their own entrances on TV. AJ Styles was in the match but didn’t get an entrance.

Veer Mahaan quickly eliminated Akira Tozawa and Shelton Benjamin. Mustafa Ali held down Mahaan so that Rey and Dominik could give him a 619 and those three eliminated him. Shanky eliminated R-Truth before Jinder Mahal eliminated Shanky. Styles eliminated Mahal. T-Bar (I assume that’s his name) eliminated Reggie by launching him from the ring. Commercial break. 

Ciampa eliminated Ali during the break. Styles eliminated Ciampa after shoving him into the ring post. Dominik tried to clothesline Dolph Ziggler out of the ring but Ziggler held on while Dominik fell out for the elimination.

Rey almost eliminated Miz but Miz and Ziggler teamed up to eliminate Rey. T-Bar tried to shove Ricochet off the apron but Ricochet landed on a ladder that was set up outside the ring. Ricochet leaped back onto the apron and used a hurricanrana to eliminate T-Bar. Commercial break. 

Nakamura eliminated Ziggler by kicking him off the top rope. (Miz rolled out of the ring while feigning a leg injury.) Riddle used a Pelé Kick while Nakamura was on the apron for the elimination. Styles eliminated Ricochet.

Riddle and Styles stood toe-to-toe and the crowd cheered assuming they were the final two. Styles went over the top to set up for a Phenomenal forearm but Miz yanked him out from behind for the elimination. The crowd booed Miz.

Riddle gave Miz a draping DDT but Miz blocked an RKO and hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Riddle gave Miz an RKO on the apron and Miz fell out of the ring for the elimination.

Riddle qualifies for the MITB ladder match. The crowd was happy.

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They said the Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel qualifying match had to be rescheduled. They didn’t explain why or say when the match would be. (Ezekiel was shown in the back earlier when Cena arrived but I didn’t notice Owens.)

There will be a last-chance qualifier for the women’s ladder match later tonight.

Cena was in the back with the Street Profits. They basically asked him for advice for taking on the Usos who they have not been able to beat outside of a count-out win. Cena reminded them of their accolades and hyped them up.

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They showed videos by Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Booker T, Daniel Bryan, Trish Stratus and Triple H congratulating Cena on 20 years. (Yes, AEW's Paul Wight and Bryan Danielson were shown here.)

Riddle told Kevin Patrick how psyched up he was to be in MITB in Las Vegas. 

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Montez Ford (w/Angelo Dawkins) defeated Tag Team Champion Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso) (9:50)

Ford was in control until Jey dropped him on the apron and drove him into the steel steps. Ford came back after a break with a clothesline, kicks, a jumping clothesline and a standing moonsault for two. Jey used an elevated neckbreaker for two and Ford responded with a blockbuster for two. Jimmy distracted Ford so Dawkins tackled him.

Jey wiped out Dawkins with a dive before Ford took out Jey with a dive. Ford followed with a frog splash for the pinfall win.

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Finn Bálor and Damien Priest approached Rey and Dominik. Bálor noted that it was almost Rey’s 20-year anniversary too (in WWE). Bálor mentioned how successful Rey has been and wondered what he wasn’t teaching Dominik. Priest thought maybe Dominik needed a better leader. Bálor wondered if it wasn’t bad luck hurting Dominik, but a bad father. Dominik was about to go after them but they backed off. Rey challenged them to a tag match next week in San Diego. 

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There was a long Cena video package covering his WWE career, his charity work, and his success in Hollywood.

[SECOND HOUR]

The Miz in-ring interview

Patrick interviewed Miz. He asked about Logan Paul training to return to the ring. Miz announced that he and Paul would team up again at SummerSlam. Patrick showed a clip of Miz turning on Paul at WrestleMania.

Miz explained that Paul approached him after that happened and he told Paul it was a teaching moment. Miz said he and Paul would become future tag team champions.

Patrick asked about the battle royal earlier. Miz called Styles a loser. Patrick mentioned Styles’ claim that he had tiny balls. (This didn’t get much of a reaction.) Miz talked about his balls until Styles marched out and decked him.

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They said Adam Pearce made this match official during the break.

AJ Styles defeated The Miz via count-out (13:00)

They wrestled for 13 minutes before Miz just walked away for the count-out.

Miz took control before a break after dropping Styles on the apron and driving him into the barricade (essentially the same thing that happened in the Uso/Ford match earlier).

Miz used a DDT for two followed by It Kicks but Styles blocked the last one and hit a German suplex. Styles used strikes and a facebuster for two followed by a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for two. With Styles sitting in the middle rope, Miz brought him down with a Codebreaker for two.

Miz kicked Styles’ leg out of his leg before hitting a series of kicks and Danielson’s running knee strike for two. Styles countered a Skull Crushing Finale into a cradle for two and he followed that with a brainbuster.

Styles set up for the Phenomenal forearm but Miz simply left the ring and walked to the back. Styles won by count-out.

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Ezekiel introduced himself to Cena. (Cena initially seemed surprised but then played along.) Cena asked if Elias was here tonight but Ezekiel said he was busy showing around Elrod. Cena had some advice for Ezekiel: never forget who you are. Ezekiel appreciated it.

Theory confronted Cena. Theory ran down Cena and put over his own accolades. He was about to take a selfie but Cena just walked away without saying a word. (Perhaps it’s because he was wearing wrestling boots, but Theory was taller than Cena.)

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There were more congratulation videos for Cena, this time from Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, John Layfield, Chris Jericho, Stephanie McMahon and Steve Austin. (Orton, Jericho and Austin all got big reactions from the crowd.)

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Bianca Belair/Carmella segment 

They advertised this as a face-to-face between Belair and Carmella but it started with just Patrick and Belair in the ring. Belair ran down Carmella before calling her out.

Carmella put over her accomplishments and said she deserved respect. If Belair wasn’t going to give it to her, she was going to take it. Belair raised her title belt in the air as Carmella marched out of the ring. Patrick asked Belair a question and Carmella tried a sneak attack but Belair saw it coming and knocked her out of the ring.

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Sarah Schreiber interviewed Alexa Bliss and Liv Morgan in the back. Bliss said she and Morgan were friendly but she didn’t have any friends here because she didn’t trust anybody. Morgan agreed that they weren’t friends and said she wouldn’t hesitate to knock Bliss off the ladder at MITB. Morgan took some inspiration from Cena — her time was now and she would win MITB. Bliss said that wasn’t happening and booped her on the nose using the Lilly doll. 

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Asuka joined commentary for the upcoming match.

Liv Morgan defeated Alexa Bliss (3:20)

Bliss took most of the match but Morgan caught her in a roll-up for the win.

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There was a nice video highlighting Cena’s work with Make-A-Wish.

This was followed by… Vince McMahon entering the ring. Cena is up next. 

[THIRD HOUR]

John Cena promo

McMahon introduced Cena. Wrestlers were on both sides of the aisle applauding Cena as he made his entrance to a very loud ovation. McMahon was gone once Cena hit the ring.

Cena was happy to be here. He wasn’t much for celebrating milestones because he always wanted to look ahead to what was next. But tonight was different. Tonight wasn’t about any one of his moments or matches, tonight was about the fans. The fans have allowed him to do this for two decades.

The fans were brave enough to tell him when he sucked and when he didn’t. Cena has always wanted to say ‘thank you,’ but was just waiting for the right moment. The crowd loudly chanted “thank you, Cena.” Cena thanked them for moments like that and for making him who he is.

Cena said WWE and the fans have prepared him for everything and they’ve made him a better human being, professional, and husband. Spending time with the fans has taught him empathy, caring and kindness and they sure as hell have taught him humility.

Cena said he was 45 years old and he didn’t know when we’d see him in the ring again. A few fans were about to start a “one more match” chant but he cut them off and said it wouldn’t be just one. He said when he returned it wouldn’t be about him, it would be about “us.” Cena said “we” were just getting started and if you want some, come get some.

Cena embraced a young fan before chucking his armbands and t-shirt into the crowd. Cena looked into the camera and said, “thank you,” one more time.

The crowd really loved Cena. 

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1-on-2 handicap match: Bobby Lashley defeated Alpha Academy [Special enforcer: US Champion Theory] (8:19)

A Theory distraction allowed Chad Gable and Otis to take control. After a break, Otis powerbombed Lashley and Gable followed with a moonsault for two. Otis went up for a Vader Bomb but Lashley got underneath him and hit an electric chair drop which popped the crowd. Gable tried something off the top but Lashley caught him in the Hurt Lock for the submission win.

— Theory immediately attacked Lashley after the match. The three heels put the boots to him but as Theory attempted a selfie, Lashley booted him into the buckle. Lashley gave Otis a flatliner and speared Gable. Lashley was about to spear Theory but he bailed and left through the crowd.

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Cody Rhodes interview

There was a taped interview with Cody Rhodes at his rehab centre. Rhodes said he was at the peak of his career just a few weeks ago and he wanted to parlay that momentum at MITB. However, he flew a little too close to the sun and he figured Seth Rollins would say the same thing. He was being told that it will take nine months to return and he will try to respect that.

Rhodes looked forward to watching MITB. He mentioned Drew McIntyre and Sheamus as having Harley Race-level toughness. He was impressed by Omos and called Sami Zayn a genius in the ring.

Rhodes said it sure would be something if history repeated itself. If Seth Rollins won, successfully cashed in and became undisputed champion.

“I’m not rooting for anybody but if Seth takes the win, I think I’d be the first to congratulate him.”

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Rollins approached Cena in the back. He did his dumb laugh to the tune of the trumpet in Cena’s theme song. Rollins said he was happy to see Cena while also reminding him of the time he broke his nose and the time he failed his MITB cash-in.

Rollins continued to ramble but noticed Cena was distracted by something. Omos was standing behind Rollins. MVP warned Rollins about what Omos would do to everyone at MITB. (He basically compared Omos to Thanos.) Cena was in awe staring up at Omos. He sarcastically wished Rollins good luck.

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Money in the Bank qualifying elimination match: Becky Lynch defeated Xia Li, Nikki ASH, Shayna Baszler, Tamina and Doudrop (13:18)

Lynch first eliminated Xia Li with a Man-handle slam about two and a half minutes into the match. Two minutes later, Lynch eliminated Nikki via submission with the Disarmer.

After a break, Lynch suplexed Baszler into the barricade before Doudrop ran over both Lynch and Tamina. They did a tower of doom spot where Doudrop powerbombed Lynch, Tamina and Baszler off the ropes. (Doudrop sold by falling down, unlike Miro last night.)

Baszler had Tamina in a leg lock but Doudrop splashed Baszler for the pinfall elimination. Doudrop also eliminated Tamina with an elbow drop off the top.

Lynch and Doudrop were the final two. Lynch avoided a Vader Bomb before giving Doudrop a Man-handle slam off the middle turnbuckle for the final elimination.

Lynch qualifies for MITB.

(The referee giving time cues to the wrestlers in the last two minutes of this match wasn’t exactly subtle.)